Georgia News Roundup
July 12, 2013 08:30 AM | 417 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia agency awards scholarships to teen drivers

ATLANTA (AP) — The Governor's Office of Highway Safety has awarded $10,500 in scholarships to members of its teen advisory commission.

Officials said Thursday that 21 students have been each awarded $500 scholarships for participating in the Governor's Commission on Teen Driving. The scholarships are part of a $20,000 grant from the Ford Driving Skills for Life program.

Officials say the money not being used for scholarships will fund an event where commissioners can reach out to their peers with safe driving strategies and messages.

The commissioners were appointed to the panel by Gov. Nathan Deal and asked for harsher penalties for teens that are caught driving while sending text messages or using smartphones.

Highway safety officials say car crashes are the no. 1 cause of death for teens in Georgia.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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New commander to take over hospital at Ft. Benning 

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A new commander is set to take over the hospital at Fort Benning.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Col. Scott B. Avery will assume the duties during a change of command ceremony Friday on York Field at Fort Benning.

He will take over the leadership of Martin Army Community Hospital and the Fort Benning Army Medical Department Activity from Col. Timothy E. Lamb. Lamb is retiring from the Army.

Master Sgt. William G. Ott will transfer responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Napoleon Noguera during the same ceremony.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia police department offering citizens academy

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department is accepting applications for its fall citizen's police academy.

Department officials say the academy is designed to help members of the public meet officers from each unit and learn their job functions. Department officials say the academy sometimes includes ride along opportunities with patrol officers and tours of the county jail.

Officials say there are 30 seats open for the academy and applications are being accepted until Sept. 6. The program runs for 13 weeks and begins Sept. 13.

Applications are available at police precincts and online.

Online: Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Wreck in Gainesville kills at least 3

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police in Gainesville are investigating an early morning multiple-vehicle wreck that left at least three people dead.

Police say at least five other people were injured in the accident that happened just after midnight Thursday on Highway 365 at Howard Road.

The accident included a tractor trailer and several passenger vehicles.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. Investigators were on the scene to try to determine who was at fault and what caused the crash.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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DeKalb police say man shot in gas station argument

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Police in DeKalb County say a man was shot during an argument at a gas station.

Police tell WSB-TV an 18-year-old man was shot when seven people in an SUV got in an argument early Friday morning.

When police officers arrived at the gas station, all of the people involved in the incident had left. Officers found three of them walking nearby, including the man who had been shot. Police were searching for the other four people involved.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Macon firefighter hit by car at scene of accident

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A firefighter in Macon suffered serious injuries when he was hit by car while working an accident.

WMAZ-TV reports that Macon-Bibb County firefighter was hit on Interstate 75 around 9:40 a.m. Thursday. Sgt. Eric John was in critical but stable condition at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

John and three others were finishing up at the scene of an overturned car. The television station reports that as John was talking to a deputy in the emergency lane, a car swerved into the lane and hit him.

Lt. Sean Defoe says the car's 18-year-old driver was being questioned. He was not immediately charged, and the Bibb County Sheriff's Department was investigating.

Chief Marvin Riggins says John is 42 and has been with the department for more than 20 years.

Information from: WMAZ-TV, http://www.wmaz.com/

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Weeks of rain help keep fires away in southeast Georgia 

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — Weeks of heavy rain that have drenched much of the Southeast have been a blessing at a wildlife refuge that straddles the Georgia-Florida state line.

The Florida Times-Union reports officials at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge say it's enjoying a swamp water level about a foot higher than average and low fire anxiety.

Supervisory ranger Susie Heisey says the elevated water level helps cover a lot of formerly dry ground. That can help prevent fires, like the Honey Prairie Fire three years ago that burned much of the 400,000 acre refuge.

And while fishermen may enjoy bigger catches, Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding them to exercise caution as high waters can have swift currents that can quickly sweep people away.

Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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